Written by Tracy McMahonSomerville Open Studios is one of the largest art events held each year in the city of Somerville, MA located right outside Boston proper. Since 1999, this amazing, free event encourages artists to open their studios and homes to the public for a weekend allowing a true glimpse into the artist's world, where they create, how they create, and forging a strong connection between art lovers and the artists themselves.
This year over 400 artists participated. Trolley service was provided to various sites, studios, and homes around the city. Each space was clearly marked on a map and marked physically, with signage and balloons, allowing the public to easily identify participating artists.
For those artists not housed in larger studios or living spaces, like Brickbottom or Joy Street, those artisans whose homes are off the beaten path or otherwise not conducive to foot traffic, there was an option to participate at an event called Saturday Local Artists Market (SLAM) at The Burren in Davis Square.
Artists were invited to set up and display their work in the backroom of the popular Irish Pub. Here, the public found a vast array of vendors from jewelers to painters, potters, illustrators and beyond. It was a fantastic stop on the tour for great art, lunch, and a relaxing with a pint of the best Guinness in town.
SLAM events are held a few times a year and often coincide nicely with larger art-based events like Somerville Open Studios and Art Beat. It is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in the local artists community.
The SLAM event, for me has been wonderful, as one who is just beginning to expand from my Etsy shop and dip my toe into local art fair circuit. The turnout has been fabulous, thanks to the great advertising, signage, and organization this year. Check out my display:
For anyone visiting the Boston/ Somerville area I encourage you to check out the local arts community events around the area. It is a great way to explore the area while getting a sense of the true local flavor.